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January 2, 2013

Zynga says bye to 11 games on Facebook

Social gaming firm, Zynga has cut 11 games in its planned shutdown of 13 game titles.

By Tineka Smith

The latest game to get the axe is PetVille, which shutdown on Sunday Dec 30, 2012.

Petville had an average of 1 million monthly active users.

Other popular games that are no longer available include FishVille (400,000) Treasure Isle (250,000) and Mafia Wars 2 (200,000).

Zynga’s CEO announced in October 2012 that the company was closing 13 older games in efforts to create a more stringent budget.

The company also closed its Zynga Boston Studio, as well as propositions to close their studios in Japan and the UK.

The games that have been cut are mostly run on Facebook. Zynga has found it more difficult to reach users as more than half of Facebook members now access the site through mobile devices.

Facebook and Zynga changed their developer agreement at the end of November 2012.

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The new deal will allow Facebook to develop its own games but also means that Zynga is longer required to Feature Facebook ads or offer Facebook credits as a form of payment.

While the new deal will give Zynga more independence it also means the social gaming company will lose its ability to promote its service to Facebook’s 1 billion members.

"Effective on March 31, 2013, certain provisions related to web and mobile growth targets and schedules will no longer be applicable and Facebook will no longer be prohibited from developing its own games," Zynga said in a regulatory filing. "Further, Zynga’s right to cross-promote between games on the Facebook web site will be governed by Facebook’s standard terms of service."

Games like Farmville, however, will still be available on Facebook’s site but will not have the ability to feature cross promotions.

The social gaming company had a rough year in 2012 and reported a net loss of $52.7m for its third quarter.

Online game revenues totalled $285.6m, a decrease of $2.3m from Q3 2011 and a 2% decrease from Q2 2012.

Four of Zynga’s executives also left the company last year including its Finance chief who moved to Facebook in October 2012.

Zynga had been responsible for generating nearly 15% of Facebook’s revenues in 2011.


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